Father’s Day

Posted on June 19, 2016 in General, Great Pacific Race 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016 – Race Day 15

WEATHER: In the next 36 hours we may see the fleet concertina as front runner Uniting Nations remain in 10 kts of breeze, while the rest of the fleet should see the 15 knot trades fill in sooner. Tomorrow this breeze will strengthen to 15 kts for those to the west and 15-20 for rowers to the east. The wind and waves are forecast to be from the same direction until Tuesday morning. A following wind and a following sea, both from the NNE / NE is as good as it gets for surfing conditions. 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!  We send special wishes today to our Dad’s out on the Pacific – Todd Bliss on Row Aloha, Rick Leach on Row Aloha, Greg Vlasek on Moana Uli Rowing, Cyril Derremaux on Uniting Nations and here on land our Race Director Chris Martin.

We are sure that all of our rowers took a moment today to think of their fathers today.  We have one rower in particular who we are sure was thinking of his Dad today, and that would be Louis Bird, who is rowing with Erden Eruc as team Sons Of The Pacific.

Peter Bird, Louis’ dad, was the first ‘modern’ ocean rower.  He first rowed the Atlantic in 1974. Peter decided he also wanted to row solo across the Pacific from San Francisco to Australia, so in 1983 he set off from San Francisco. Unfortunately, after 294 days, Peter had to be rescued by the Australian Navy. He was only 1/4 mile from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

In 1991 Peter had a son named Louis, and he continued to follow his passion of ocean rowing.

Peter decided to row the Pacific again in the other direction, using a Northern route from Russia to the US.  Between 1992 and 1995 he attempted to do this 4 times, with 1 attempt lasting for an impressive 304 days at sea.

A year later he tried again and set out from Nakhodka, Russia on March 27, 1996.  Sixty nine days later, on June 3,  a Russian Rescue Center picked up an emergency signal.  A few hours later Peter’s badly damaged boat was found overturned – with no signs of Peter. At the time, Louis was only four years old.

Today, almost 20 years later to the day, Peter’s son Louis is crossing the Pacific Ocean.  Louis is rowing with Erden Eruc on the boat Sons of the Pacific. Until his death, Peter spent more time ocean rowing than any other person.  A total of 937 days at sea.  Erden currently has the second highest number of days at sea with 876.  If Sons of the Pacific take more than 61 days to cross to Hawaii, then Erden will have spent more days at sea in an ocean rowing boat than anyone else. Erden will beat Peter Bird’s record.

By all accounts, Peter was an incredible and thoroughly likable individual – a lot like Louis in that respect.  Today we pay tribute to the Sons, and Fathers, of the Pacific.

1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 1423 NM to finish, Rowed 844 NM
2 Moana Uli: ROWING – 1647 NM to finish, Rowed 642 NM
3 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 1663 NM to finish, Rowed 696 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 1766 NM to finish, Rowed 577 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 1780 NM to finish, Rowed 549 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 1817 NM to finish, Rowed 474 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED